NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mercer conquered FGCU 2-1 Friday in the 11th inning to earn a trip to the Atlantic Sun Championship softball final.
Chelsea Zgrabik homered over the wall to give FGCU a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth.
The game remained quiet until the sixth inning when the Bears' Kaytlin Haney singled and advanced to third as Caroline Taylor and Krista Kennedy grounded out. Natalie Shriver's shot to right field sent Haney home to tie the game at 1-1 heading into the seventh.
The Bears' Riley Carter scored as Kaylynn Sloat hit a ball to the center field wall in the ninth inning. FGCU freshman Jeanie Verderese threw a rifle home where Zgrabik tagged Carter at the plate. Verderese continued her defensive showing as she stretched for a diving catch to end the ninth inning.
The game continued into the 11th inning marking only the fifth time in A-Sun Championship history for a game to go past the 10th inning. Mercer's Shriver reached first base on a dropped popup in the bottom of the inning. Anna Cizek came in to pinch run for Shriver and Molly Garmany followed with a double that put Cizek on third with no outs. Carter stepped to the plate and drilled a hit to center that scored Cizek with the winning run.
The fourth-seeded Bears became the sixth No. 4 seed to play in the A-Sun Championship Final. The No. 4 seed has only won the A-Sun title once - 2005 when UCF defeated Troy.
The Bears faced third-seeded Stetson in the Championship final on Saturday. It's also the first time in A-Sun Championship history that neither the top-seed or the second seed played in the title game.
The Eagles finish 33-26-1 overall.